In the Footsteps of John McCrae: Commemorating 100 Years of In Flanders Field, Oct. 2 – 10

Information Night – February 12, 7 pm, at the Guelph Civic Museum

Scott Allen of Worldwide Central Travel Ltd. will join us at the museum to present an overview of the trip and answer questions.

Tour Features:

  • Escorted by Bev Dietrich, Curator, Guelph – Museums and expert on John McCrae
  • Services of a professional local tour manager
  • Roundtrip transatlantic Air Canada flights from / to Toronto including all taxes as at October 2014
  • 7 nights hotel accommodations with taxes
  • Continental breakfast daily, 2 lunches and 5 dinners
  • Private motor coach travel
  • Sightseeing as listed with all local guides
  • TGV one way train from Lille on last day

Not Included:

  • Items of a personal nature
  • Anything not listed in the itinerary
  • Insurance

NOTE: Proof of medical insurance is required to participate on trip

Cost: $3,495 p.p. twin / double basis
$3,980 Single – On request / Very limited for this tour

Deposit: $500.00 at time of booking

Balance: Due July 31, 2015

All rates are in Canadian dollars based on double occupancy.

Register here.

Sketch Itinerary

Friday, October 2: Toronto – Paris (in-flight meals and entertainment)
This evening we board our non-stop flight to travel from Toronto to Paris. Air Canada 880 departing at 19:25.

Saturday, October 3: Paris (D)
08:30 arrival in CDG. Meet our bus driver and transfer to our central Paris hotel– the Mercure Porte d’Orléans (2 nights). This afternoon 3-hour city tour of Paris. Welcome dinner in a typical Parisian restaurant

Sunday, October 4: Versailles – Paris (B)
Half-day tour to visit the Versailles Castle. Mid-day return to Paris and an open afternoon and evening for individual exploration.

Monday, October 5: Paris – Ovillers-La-Boisselle – Vimy (B, D)
Morning transfer to Ovillers-La-Boisselle. Visit the Lochnagar Memorial Crater. Open for lunch in the region. Continue to visit the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Continue to Ypres (now known by its Flemish name of Ieper). Dinner at our hotel – Albion Hotel Ypres (5 nights).

Tuesday, October 6: Ieper (B, D)
We will walk (or transfer) to the IFF Museum and the square. The Museum shows how the First World War affected the lives of the thousands of people of different nationalities. Visit of the bell tower. The balance of this afternoon is left open for individual exploration and reflection. Dinner and departure for the Menin Gate where our group will lay a wreath. At 7:30 pm we will gather at the Gate as each evening at 8.00 pm the Last Post is sounded (depending on ceremony this day / date may be altered).

Wednesday, October 7: Ypres region (B, L)
Transfer to Essex Farm. Here we will have a guided visit of Essex Field Dressing Station and Essex Field Cemetery. The Canadian Medical Officer John McCrae served here. Lunch locally. This afternoon transfer to Sanctuary Wood and Hill 62 today a Canadian memorial which we will visit beside Sanctuary Wood on the top of Mount Sorrel.

Thursday, October 8: Ypres – Poperinge (B, D)
Visit to St. George Memorial Church. The church was built between 1927 and 1929 to remember the 250,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who died in one of the four Flanders battles. We then transfer to Poperinge where we will visit Talbot House now a ‘living museum’. Early in the evening we will enjoy dinner in a local brewery restaurant.

Friday, October 9: Calais – Boulogne – Ypres (B, D)
Depart to the North Sea (Channel) and along the coast to the Boulogne region. On the way we will have many photo stops – by example at Calais where we can see the white cliffs of Dover. Today we will visit Wimereux Cemetery. Wimereux Communal Cemetery contains 2,847, Commonwealth burials of the First World War, two of them unidentified. Buried among them is Lt. Col. John McCrae, author of the poem “In Flanders Fields”. Return to Ypres and enjoy a Farewell dinner.

Saturday, October 10: Lille – Paris (B)
Breakfast and hotel check out – transfer to Lille for our fast train at 07:17 to Paris Airport CDG 08:14 and our return to Ontario. On arrival at CDG, check-in and board our non-stop return flight to Toronto. Air Canada 881 at 11:00. You may also elect to extend your stay in Europe.

About Lt. Col. John McCrae

Soldier, explorer, physician, educator and poet. Author of In Flanders Fields, possibly the best known First World War poem in the world. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918) was born in Guelph, Ontario, studied medicine at the University of Toronto where he graduated at the top of his class.

He enlisted and fought in the Boer War in South Africa. On his return he took a fellowship at McGill University in Montreal where he remained on the teaching staff. He also served as a pathologist for a number Montreal area hospitals.

When the First World War began in 1914, McCrae enlisted as the Medical Officer in the First Brigade of Canadian Field Artillery. He was responsible for a field dressing station at the front and treated those wounded during the Second Battle of Ypres in the spring of 1915. In the summer of 1915, McCrae was transferred to the Number 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill) in Dannes-Camiers, France, where he was Officer in Charge of Medicine. On January 24, 1918 he was appointed as consulting physician to the First British Army, the first Canadian so honoured. 4 days later, on January 28th, McCrae died from pneumonia, complicated by meningitis. He is buried at Wimereaux Cemetery in France. At McCrae’s funeral procession, Generals and nursing sisters stood side-by-side, silently watching the cortege pass. While an extraordinary soldier and physician, Lieutenant Colonel McCrae is best known for his poem “In Flanders Fields”. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915 and to all wars in general. McCrae had spent seventeen days treating injured men – Canadians, British and French in the Ypres salient.

 

Posted by Sarah Ball on January 7, 2015

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